Blogs

Not Your Grandmother's Blueberry Jam

There's absolutely nothing wrong with straight-up blueberry jam, and if that's what you want, we've got plenty of recipes. But if you've got the blues with the same old same old, here's some inspiration for new flavors with blueberry jam.

Blueberry Ginger Jam, found on PunkDomestics.com
Blueberry Ginger Jam
The fresh kiss of ginger lifts up blueberries and makes them sing.
Blueberry Mint Jam, found on PunkDomestics.com
Blueberry Mint Jam
Many herbs play nicely with blueberries, but mint is a match made in heaven.
Blueberry Basil Jam, found on PunkDomestics.com
Blueberry Basil Jam
Mint's kissing cousin gives blueberry jam a sophisticated twist.
Blueberry Sage Jam, found on PunkDomestics.com
Blueberry Sage Jam
Sage takes the berries into an even more savory direction.

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DIY Condiments for Summer Grilling and Entertaining

Summer grilling is great, but burgers and dogs are only as good as the condiments that dress them up. Step away from the packaged varieties and try your hand at DIY condiments to make haute dogs and hamburgers.

Ketchup, found on PunkDomestics.com
Ketchup
Heinz, schmeinz. Homemade ketchup is easy and delicious, and is open to a world of interpretation. Why stop at tomato? We've got recipes for ketchups made from cranberries, rose hips, figs and more.

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8 Ways to Preserve Melons

Sweet, luscious melons are a treat that can only be truly appreciated at the peak of summer, when they're at their juiciest, gushiest best. If you've been overly tempted and have a glut of melons, here's a few ways to turn them into treats that will last beyond summer's steamy days.

Pickled Watermelon Rind found on PunkDomestics.com
Pickled Watermelon Rind
A Southern classic, these sweet pickles are refreshing with meats or alongside cheeses. Don't throw those rinds away!
Watermelon Jam found on PunkDomestics.com
Watermelon Jam
Capture the fresh essence of the watermelon in a jam (or a jelly). A squeeze of lime helps perk up the flavor.
Watermelon Infusion found on PunkDomestics.com
Watermelon Infusion
You know how you can infuse a watermelon with vodka? Well, you can infuse vodka (or tequila or...) with watermelon for the ultimate summery cocktails. Melontini, anyone?

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Ten Ways to Put Up Tomatoes

Got tomatoes? Here's a rundown of ways to put up your maters, from basic canned tomatoes to salsa, ketchup and more. 

Canning Tomatoes, found on PunkDomestics.com
Canning Tomatoes
Canning your own tomatoes is a great way to economize, but first you need to know a few things to do it safely. Learn how to put up your 'maters.
Tomato Paste, found on PunkDomestics.com
Tomato Paste
Cook down your puree until thick and rich, and can or freeze to use in sauces. Paste on, friend.

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Enter Your Craft Foods in the Good Food Awards

Enter your craft foods in the Good Food Awards, found on PunkDomestics.com

Updated for 2014

I imagine few among us have never considered taking our passion for food craft to the next stage. Perhaps you've mastered a certain jam, or have a secret recipe for a killer BBQ sauce, or have even conquered the holy grails of cheese making, home brewing or charcuterie. Would you take it to market? 

It's not for the weak of heart, which is why I'm always so impressed by those that do. It's also why I'm a big fan of the Good Food Awards. In their fourth year now, they seek out the best craft foods in the nation, aiming to put them on a pedestal for the world to see. 

I know some of you in the Punk Domestics community have taken the leap and turned your perfect creations into market-ready goods. And so I hope that each of you will select your finest products and submit them to the Good Food Awards. The entry period is currently open; simply go here to fill out the entry form before August 1. If you're selected, your product will be up for blind tasting in September. 

I am also proud to announce that I will be one of the judges in the Preserves category this year. As noted, the tastings are blind, so I'm afraid I cannot afford any preferential treatment to Punk Domestics community members.

Want to see an example of a cottage food business who's gone on to bring home the gold? Check out my interview with Julia Sforza of Half-Pint Preserves, herself a Punk Domestics contributor, too. Also check out my interview with Dafna Kory of INNA Jam, who also has won.

The winners are announced at a grand gala in San Francisco in January, and a lavish affair it is. I've had the pleasure of attending on the first and third years. It's such a pleasure to see the hard work of these artisans recognized. And it's an even greater pleasure to taste their handicrafts directly. 

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Seven Ways to Preserve Zucchini

It's summer, and everyone's gardens are overflowing with zucchini. Don't be daunted! Here's a bunch of ways to put up your zukes so can enjoy them well into the colder months.

Pickled Zucchini, found on PunkDomestics.com
Pickled Zucchini
Got zukes? When the garden throws you more summer squash than you can consume, put 'em up in a pickle. Here's a bunch of options. (Image via fish in the water)

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Use Those Herbs!

Having an herb garden is great, when you need a pinch of this or that. But when the herbs go rangy and begin to bolt, it's time to hack them back and put them by. Here's a few applications for when you need to use your homegrown herbs by the hank.

Pesto found on PunkDomestics.com
Pesto
Basil is the traditional herb here, but use your imagination and make pesto from a wide variety of herbs, like sage, oregano and more. (Image via Hitchhiking to Heaven)
Chimichurri found on PunkDomestics.com
Chimichurri
Parsley, cilantro and garlic make the backbone of this Argentinean sauce, perfect over grilled beef but delicious with almost anything. (Image via Delectable Musings)
Cilantro Chutney found on PunkDomestics.com
Cilantro Chutney
Traditionally used alongside appetizers in Indian food, this refreshing chutney wakes up all kinds of foods. (Image via Cooking in Weschester)
Zhoug found on PunkDomestics.com
Zhoug
A spicy, fiery Israeli condiment made with fresh cilantro, parsley, green chiles and garlic. Sure to become a pantry staple! (Image via Blue Kale Road)

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Giveaway! Win Custom Jar Labels from Felix Doolittle

When it comes to labeling jars, I am often a minimalist. As in, I neglect to label them. At best, I'll print out some labels (like these bitchin' Punk Domestics labels, for example), but that's dependent on me remembering to buy ink for my seldom-used printer. Read More >

What Are You Smoking?

Fire up the grill and bust out the wood chips. Summer is smokin' hot, and we've got a variety of hot smoking projects for your Smokey Joe. What are you smoking?

DIY Hot Smoker, found on punkdomestics.com
DIY Hot Smoker
You can turn that charcoal grill you probably already have into an effective hot smoker. Here's a few tips. (Image via Well Hung Food)
Bacon, found on punkdomestics.com
Bacon!
Everything is better with bacon, and making your own is surprisingly easy. Go with the traditional, or branch out with variations like French ventreche, Sichuan spiced, or made with wild boar or lamb belly. (Image via Eat Live Travel Write)
Smoked Ham, found on punkdomestics.com
Smoked Ham
Brine up a leg and then smoke it low and slow for a tender, flavorful ham. (Image via And Here We Are...)
Canadian Bacon, found on punkdomestics.com
Canadian Bacon
Or go for the loin to make the classic Canadian bacon, more like ham than its American counterpart.  (Image via Smoke Cure Pickle Brew)

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We Can Pickle That: Cucumbers!

Summer is on -- time to cue the cukes! Pickling is the way to go for most of us, but we have a few other tricks up our sleeves for cucumbers.

Sour Pickles
Sour Pickles
Our friend lactofermentation gives cucumbers their characteristic tang. This is the deli pickle of your dreams -- but there are a few tricks to perfecting crispy spears. (Image via Tim Vidra)
Half Sours
Half Sours
A slightly less salty brine produces a pickle with a slightly less sour tang. (Image via From Scratch Club)
East Coast New Pickles
East Coast New Pickles
A tradition in the Northeast, these pickles are brined but unfermented, making for a crisp, salty cuke. (Image via Linda Ziedrich)
Dill Pickles
Dill Pickles
Whether fermented or vinegar-brined, dill pickles are dill-icious, and endlessly variable. (Image via Talk of Tomatoes)

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